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Phil McGleno

Against Stack and Tilt? Tell Me Why.

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I don't claim to teach Stack and Tilt. I do think that the Mike and Andy fellas - two of the nicest guys you'll meet - have codified what I've been teaching for a number of years (like the past 30 as long as I've been teaching). A centered head, a subtle weight shift, and a push draw as the stock shot.

But I still see on this forum and elsewhere that people are bashing Stack and Tilt based on their players leaving or not winning every other major Tiger and Phil don't win or who knows what.

So I want this thread for a nice, simple discussion. Tell me what you DO NOT LIKE about Stack and Tilt. First, DESCRIBE what Stack and Tilt is in your own words.

I think Stack and Tilt has a target because it has a name, and because the first Golf Digest article was so bad... I want to see if there's any legitimate reasons why someone doesn't like S&T;, why they THINK it's bad, or anything of the sort.

No fanaticism from me and I hope from anyone else. I've cleared this thread with Erik so he's on board too.

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Yes, I approve, and as Butch said when he mentioned it to me, there's a chance we can all learn something here too.

No fanaticism - from either side - and frankly the line is drawn more clearly for those who already favor S&T; because I really want to hear from people.

And no, this is not a trap. (smiley to indicate non-serious tone, not to imply that I'm joking or tricking anyone.)

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...I think Stack and Tilt has a target because it has a name, ...

Bingo. I have to admit to an (irrational) initial dislike for S&T.; Basically not knowing enough about it. The fact it has a name and the fact that there are such evangelical pro-S&T; advocates is bound to draw radical dislike from elsewhere.

What is it? To me I'd say key phrases might be "weight forward, no reverse-K, head/shoulders stationary on backswing, hands inside line on backswing, blade square-to-plane, hip slide, extension through impact". Probably not right for the purists but there we go! In the end, I can't see anything they teach that doesn't make sense; as you say, it's really just a codified collection of a number of logical precepts. I'm self-taught to a large degree (apart from some early lessons as a junior) and I've evidently missed a lot of this reverse-K, weight on back foot, extend straight back on takeaway etc etc coaching. Played a lot of my younger golf with 8-12 friends all learning at the same time and we learnt from one another to a large extent together with a lot of practice. We ended up, I suspect, with what worked consistently well and dumped what didn't. Thinking about what I do, quite a lot of it is, shall we say, S&T; friendly. I'm not as weight forward or deep handed as perhaps is prescribed but I tend to be 'stacked', I really don't get the weight back/upper centre shift kind of thinking and I've always aimed for a hip slide as a key downswing component. Seems to me it's a bit of a spectrum; not everyone is expected to swing it like Charlie Wi but there is a lot of S&T; that one can pick and choose to incorporate into what one already does.

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Seems to me it's a bit of a spectrum; not everyone is expected to swing it like Charlie Wi but there is a lot of S&T; that one can pick and choose to incorporate into what one already does.

I think the above statement sumarizes what creates the 'misconception' about stack and tilt. The fact that there's a name for it makes people think that it's one formulated regiment of teaching that is the same for everyone and that creates a problem, especially in the eyes of teaching professionals, since everyone's swing and body type are different.

I don't know the ins and outs of S&T;, but on the recent "Big 4" video with Harmon, Haney, McLean, and Leadbetter, the interviewer tried to get their opinion on S&T; and their conclusions was that each player has different problems in their swing and since they all have different problems, they require different solutions and S&T; (from what I understand of it), prescribes one set of solutions. Another reason is also probably because the majority of what people deem as Stack and Tilt players have a swing that looks very different from a normal golf swing and the players with more traditional looking swings that S&T; claims to be S&T; don't call themselves stack and tilters. Just a thought

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Another reason is also probably because the majority of what people deem as Stack and Tilt players have a swing that looks very different from a normal golf swing and the players with more traditional looking swings that S&T; claims to be S&T; don't call themselves stack and tilters.

this. i have been trying to incorporate S&T; in my game, and when i told a friend he said "that swing i see on the S&T; commercials looks weird..."

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To me, Stack and Tilt is primarily about keeping your weight mostly centered and keeping your hands (and by extension, the clubhead) on plane. In addition to these, extension through impact is really stressed. They teach the simplest method they can to achieve all this. I can't for the life of me believe that anyone would be against S&T; if they really saw it for what it is.

I think Stack and Tilt has a target because it has a name, and because the first Golf Digest article was so bad...

I think this is most of S&T;'s image problem. There are other factors at work, though. First is their PGA presence. Most people only see the players on the commercials that are willing to attach their names to it - and they don't carry a lot of star power. The more prominent names that have been attached to it have quit. Those who are open to S&T; look a little deeper. We see that Mike and Andy have a deeper presence on Tour than the commercials show, that there is a chance some of the players they teach wouldn't keep their cards if not for S&T;, and that their prominent dropouts haven't fared so well since they left.

The other factor I see causing the S&T; image problem is that even though it's a simple swing model, you really need to have a basic understanding of the golf swing in general (and the revised ball flight laws) to see the point in changing to it. For someone who doesn't really understand why the ball flies the way it does or how certain elements of their swing cause that flight, it's easy to say "I'll stick with what's gotten me this far." or "That's not what the analysts say on TV". This is why ridiculous products like the AJ video exist...it doesn't matter what you do as long as you can manipulate that dumb little bat. I think that to make real gains in popularity the S&T; guys need to do a better job in their tv commercials of pointing out how similar their swing is to the "classic swing". In the book (I can't speak to the videos) they do an excellent job of pointing out key elements of S&T; that are the same as the greatest swings in the history of golf. They explain how they've tied these elements together and use the new understanding of ball flight laws to their advantage. It's what won me over, but I don't really get a sense of that in the tv ads.

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Well to me when they start talking about conventional versus non-conventional. You got to ask, what is conventional, is there a set standard to the swing. Because i can look at every player and there swings are different. But to me there is an acceptance to a certain set of fundamentals. Good grip, good alignment and posture that coopperates with your swing, and getting the club in the slot on the downswing. Honestly i could care less about the backswing, its overrated. But most pro's have one thing in common, they are with in a few degrees of each other in the downswing. They stay on plane in the downswig and through impact. If S&T; can limit the errors a person might have than good. I think this conflict between what people thing is the norm and what people think is new is not clearly as black and white.

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. . there is a chance some of the players they teach wouldn't keep their cards if not for S&T;, and that their prominent dropouts haven't fared so well since they left.

I'm not sure why it's not more popular and I'm not sure why it's as popular it is. I guess how "popular" it is really isn't a concern of mine. Does it work, and will it work for a lifetime without injuring me, is my concern.

Go watch people tee off on the first and 10th tee at any course. Do you know what's really popular? Sucking. Mike Weir is one player who left S&T.; He doesn't/didn't need S&T.; What he needs is a psychiatrist. In spite of winning a major in '03 and having a good number of top 10s in that era ('99 PGA still probably haunts him) he can't seem to recapture that feeling in his swing. His putting stroke has little to do with S&T; and on Sundays it completely leaves him. On most Sundays, I'd almost be willing to play him straight up. Not against S&T;, and don't really care which pro has incorporated this bit or that bit, or even who's completely in the fold. Does it work? I think it does. Will it increase my risk of injury? I think it won't.

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I have nothing against S&T; per se, but have had trouble implementing all the mechanics -- my basic problem is that I cannot play the ball up in my stance and "stay inside" the ball. It is obviously a problem with not getting enough lateral movement with my hips in the downswing -- yes, at times I can make it work and strike the ball great, but there are way too many pull hooks and I don't feel like I can rely on it. That said, I very much employ a very centered head with a subtle weight shift back and forward -- at this point, I play the ball center or back with my irons and with minimal lateral movement forward -- I have had a very good last 6 months and am playing better than my handicap indicates -- so, while I tinker on the range, I am not quite willing to take the step backward and really commit to this b/c I just don't feel like I can implement on a consistent basis. Maybe my ingraned swing feeling/flaws are too much to overcome.


On a general note, I think the S&T; gets a bad rap because -- like any profession -- there is a lot of competition and jealously in the professional golf world. I think it would be very difficult for longstanding teachers to look at the S&T; and say, "Yes, that is actually a better way....." Plus, as Eric had indicated many, many times, most PGA tour players already implement about 80% of the S&T; fundamentals -- so, I imagine there are some that feel the S&T; is simply the same old fundamentals packaged a different way -- and that too would cause some resentment among golf professionials.

On a side note, I always enjoy reading what you have to say Butch -- so thanks for sharing on the forum.

My 2 cents.

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TO me the biggest misconception is that the S&T; is one type of swing and one type only. That if you use S&T; your swing will be the same as the next S&T; person.

In my swing I use some components of the S&T;, but not all of them. Not sure if that makes me an S&T; player, but I would avoid telling people that because of the stigma around it.

Whoever said it earlier about the terrible first Golf Digest article got it right - that really killed S&T; from the start.

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Go watch people tee off on the first and 10th tee at any course. Do you know what's really popular? Sucking.

Thank you for a great belly laugh!

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The biggest problem with SnT is the lack of knowledgeable instructors. Period. There's not an entire person in the state of Michigan that teaches the SnT concept. There's also not a whole lot of Daves and Erics out there teaching it. One is left to trying their own interpretation of SnT based on what they've read or seen on videos. This goes back to what you think you're doing and what you're actually doing are two different things. A golfer may try what he believes to be SnT and fail miserably. Then he believes that SnT is some fad that doesn't really work when they weren't even remotely close to executing SnT principles.

Two biggest benefits I've found from SnT is keeping the stationary and deep hands. Those two have made the biggest improvement in my game. What I struggle with is the hip slide. I tend to not focus on this because I feel I really need a knowledgeable instructor to work with. So I've implemented some of their concepts and would like to add more. However, I first need a better hands-on understanding before I move forward.

The other obstacle SnT has to overcome is that pro tour player who use a "traditional" swing, are absolutely amazing athletes. They could pretty much swing however they like and compete regularly. Well that's not really a good indication of what swing I should use since I don't remotely have their talent. What's the easiest and simplest way for me to consistently get the ball down the course. That's where I think SnT can benefit most weekend hacks.

One last thing, where you follow SnT principles or not, the SnT video is worth watching. Especially the section on golf "fundamentals". There's of food for thought regardless if you use it or not.

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I have actually begun to incorporated some of the ideas from the book. I do think that some of the sturm and dang is from others saying I teach a lot of the same stuff why do they get the credit. To me that is the strength of the book, not the swing theory but the way they explain their concepts, even if you do not agree it helps when actions in the swing are demystified and explained as a whole. For example I think shoulder turn and leg action via golf magazines leads to sliding the knees and a very flat turn for me. The books explanation of leg action although a little difficult to do conciously makes a lot of sense to me. Now if they could just email me improved tempo and a more relaxed right arm I would be in heaven. (okay maybe talent also)

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When I heard about the S&T; method It really made me want to read and find more information about it. I read the recent book that I got from the library and it really did make a lot of sense. I fell keeping your weight centered has helped me but overall if I start thinking to much about my swing on the course it only gets worse from there. I may use a few of the ideas from the S&T; but now unless my swing is really bad I might not try to fiddle with it much.

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I've never considered trying the SnT, but if I were to I would want a reputable instructor to show me the proper way to do it. I don't want to try to learn it from a book.

On that note, it's too much work for me to go out and find someone to teach it when I can keep improving the way I am with the conventional swing.

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I've heard it said a couple of times that S&T; proponents as a group are too dogmatic and defensive. Haven't found the former assertion to be true, but there may be a grain of truth in the latter. Of course, it's a chicken/egg call -- there's been a lot of mud slung at the pattern from the traditionalist camp, so it's not that surprising that adherents might become kinda touchy hearing the same things (It's a reverse pivot! You'll murder your back!) over and over again.

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looks to me like nobody is against it. its just one way to swing the golf club. i've considered trying it. but there better be a way to make it work that doesn't look like the guys on TV. course i think part of that is the way they tilt their head up and look in the camera while holding follow through. just goofiness

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I have nothing against S&T; per se, but have had trouble implementing all the mechanics -- my basic problem is that I cannot play the ball up in my stance and "stay inside" the ball. It is obviously a problem with not getting enough lateral movement with my hips in the downswing -- yes, at times I can make it work and strike the ball great, but there are way too many pull hooks and I don't feel like I can rely on it. That said, I very much employ a very centered head with a subtle weight shift back and forward -- at this point, I play the ball center or back with my irons and with minimal lateral movement forward -- I have had a very good last 6 months and am playing better than my handicap indicates -- so, while I tinker on the range, I am not quite willing to take the step backward and really commit to this b/c I just don't feel like I can implement on a consistent basis. Maybe my ingraned swing feeling/flaws are too much to overcome.

I totally agree with this. I have read the book and watched the S&T; DVD's many times, and I also agree that their fundamentals are very helpful. MY problem, however, was in the implementation as well. For whatever reason, my swing does not do what S&T; is supposed to do. A STILL slice the ball, no matter how much I move forward on the ball, or how much I come in-to-out. I realize it's my own mechanical issue, not an issue with S&T; - but, to me, it at least goes to show that S&T; is not going to make everyone' s crappy swing start shooting sub-60's. Having said that, I agree with the posters that said that an approved S&T; instructor would probably help a lot, but there are very few available. So, like others have said, I think I will glean some concepts from Mike and Andy, but stick with my (mostly) conventional swing. At least until someone can show me a better way.

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Note: This thread is 3464 days old. We appreciate that you found this thread instead of starting a new one, but if you plan to post here please make sure it's still relevant. If not, please start a new topic. Thank you!

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